Hundreds of apparently new trainers dumped in a skip outside a closed shop has caused outrage and been branded an “horrendously wasteful” act.
Shoes were left strewn across the pavement next to the New Balance Factory Shop in Shap, Cumbria.
One local businessman said it had been “disgraceful” to watch people – including families – driving to the shop and rummaging through the skip.
Another described the discarded footwear as a “disgusting waste”.
Kerryanne Wilde, who has lived in Shap for 18 years, emailed and tweeted New Balance to say the shoes could have gone to families or individuals in need.
She said she had been shocked to see what had happened after the shop in Main Street did not reopen in January.
Ms Wilde said a note had been posted on the door saying the shop was closed for refurbishment but she later found out the staff had been made redundant.
It is understood contractors have been emptying the store.
Mark Proudfoot, landlord of the Crown Inn next to the shop, said he had seen many people “walking away with new pairs of trainers” over the weekend.
He said he believed many of the trainers were samples and single shoes, and that was why so many had been dumped on to the footpath.
“It’s been amusing in one way but disgraceful in another to watch people – some bringing their families – pulling up in cars and rummaging through the skip.”
Karen Lloyd, who drove past the shop on Saturday, said she “couldn’t believe it” when she saw the “horrendously wasteful” contents of the skip.
She asked why the trainers could not have been donated to a clothing bank instead of sending them to landfill, but since then she has been told the trainers were all odd pairs.
“I think there’s a better way to do it, it’s very bad business practice to be seen to be manufacturing waste,” Ms Lloyd added.
Richard Lendon, who runs the nearby Abbey Kitchen cafe, said the shop had drawn people to the village but the debris left behind by those ransacking the skip did not reflect well on it.
“It sums up our wasteful world,” he said. “There is a recycling point opposite the shop, a primary school that could’ve have possibly helped and a charity shop in the village – brand new footwear such as this could have been donated to.”
The site has since been cleaned up, a spokesperson for New Balance confirmed.
“A general contractor doing work on-site had cleared old stock items from our store, including single shoes that could not be paired, damaged product and samples,” they said.
“While efforts were made to recycle or donate as many items as possible, we are currently re-evaluating our procedures to ensure the utmost rigor is applied when determining what can be appropriately recycled or donated.”